Historical Preserver to Consult on Library Modernization – Pasadena Now


City officials will work with a historic preservation consultant during the design phase of the seismic modernization of the central library.

Security concerns over the unreinforced masonry forced the city to shut down the iconic structure on May 4.

Getting the library back online continues to be a high priority for the city, said Michelle Perera, director of libraries and information services.

“The restoration and modernization work that needs to be done is important. The historical significance of this building will require careful integration of the seismic rehabilitation plan for this facility, ”said Perera.

“In order to appropriately take into account the historical aspects of the building, the city will work with a historic preservation consultant as part of the design team to review and determine the historical characteristics of the building and to assess the impact of the programs. potential renovation. Said Perera.

“The city will assemble and manage a team of multidisciplinary architectural engineering design experts,” she said. “Staff from several municipal departments have worked closely together not only to advance the central library modernization project, but also to ensure that library services and operations continue to meet the needs of the community today. ‘hui.

Several potential sites have been identified as alternative locations for library operations and storage, and library staff are currently reviewing the need.

The city has sent a letter to Assembly member Holden, D-Pasadena, requesting financial assistance for the design and drawings of the seismic improvements in order to have a project ready to go as soon as funding becomes available. Holden, a former Pasadena City Council member, included $ 4 million for the project in the state budget for fiscal year 2022.

Pasadena Central Library opened in 1927 and is one of the three main buildings in the city’s Civic Center district under the Bennett Plan.

Developed by Chicago architect Edward Bennett, the plan placed the city’s civic institutions in an area where streets terminate at the most important buildings: the city hall to the east, the library to the north, and the civic center to the south.

As part of a renovation, the building would be updated to meet earthquake-resistant building code changes in accordance with a 1993 ordinance that requires masonry buildings to meet specific standards.

At a city council meeting in May, City Manager Steve Mermell announced that an unfunded $ 30 million library improvement project has become a placeholder for a revised project that would include an upgrade and seismic modernization.

The library improvement project previously included upgrades and replacements of the building system, including a fire alarm system and a new fire sprinkler system; roof replacement; replacement of domestic, sanitary and rainwater pipe systems; replacement of mechanical heating and cooling systems including ductwork, electrical upgrades, earthquake-resistant structure upgrades; and improvements to the outdoor courtyard.

Since the library closed, additional branches have been opened at least six days a week for in-person services or curbside pickup.

A modular trailer is being installed in the parking lot of the central library to manage handling, routing, delivery and other services.

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